Most people associate dead skin with psoriasis. In fact, people with the skin disorder have cells that multiply up to ten times faster than normal. While it’s true that dead skin is a characteristic of psoriasis, that is not the only symptom of the disorder. The most common type is plaque psoriasis. A few symptoms include patches of red skin that usually are covered with loose skin. Sometimes, it can be very painful or itchy due to cracking. Others may notice disorders of their fingernails or toenails. Whatever the symptom, it can be very debilitating for some people. But there are ways to live with, and treat psoriasis.
If you’ve got psoriasis, one of the most important preventative measures you can take is to keep your skin moisturized. Many say that you should stick with thick lotions, followed by petroleum jelly to lock in moisture. Be consistent and moisturize on a daily basis to prevent skin from drying out. If your skin gets dry it could actually make the problem much worse. However, during the summer months, it is important not to use thick creams as that mixed with sweat could make psoriasis worse. Keep in mind, hot water will dry out your skin. Immediately after you bathe or shower, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing and apply a cream. Some doctors prescribe ointments that should be used regularly, don’t stray from the plan.
You may think it’s gross, but try not to shower or bathe every single day. Every other day or every third day is best. The reason being that too many showers can dry out skin. In addition, use lukewarm water instead of hot for the same reason. If taking a bath, add something to the water that doesn’t suck moisture from your skin. For example, try adding bath salts, oils, or even oatmeal to bath water.
Fun in the Sun
Enjoy the outdoors, and soak up some rays. Interestingly, light from the sun can actually help treat psoriasis. However, be mindful that too much sun can lead to sunburns. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above, and preferably with zinc oxide. Limit how much sun exposure you get, and maybe start with twenty minutes at a time. Above all, always check with your doctor, as some medications react badly when combined with the sun.
No Smoking or Drinking
Not only is smoking bad for your health in general, but it can make skin conditions much worse. The more you smoke, the worse your condition will get. Similarly, heavy drinking can exacerbate psoriasis. Alcohol doesn’t have to be given up completely, but try not to drink more than one alcoholic drink at a time.
Take Care of Yourself
Ultimately, you should take care of yourself fully, body and mind. Sometimes, having a skin disorder like psoriasis can lead to depression and low self-esteem. If you notice a change in mood, don’t be afraid to reach out. Find a support group. Talking to others that are experiencing the same issues can make all the difference. If needed, talk to a counselor or therapist.